Nowadays, most people go to college in America to get a better job. That’s why many colleges are adding more and more narrow majors each year to persuade these people to come to their college, with names like sustainability, homeland security, or gaming. But The Chronicle points out why a career-oriented major may not be the best choice when it comes to going to college.
A recent study has found that traditional arts-and-sciences majors (English, mathematics,and biology, etc.) have fallen from almost 50% in 1968 to only 26% in 2010. The most popular major nowadays is business. The problem with these vocationally aimed majors is that many graduates of them are not finding jobs. This is for many reasons including a glut of degrees in the market, and the applicants not possessing useful business skills.
Almost any job in the US nowadays requires at least a bachelor’s degree to even be considered. Because of this, many 4-year colleges have become de-facto job training centers. Ones that leave students knowledgeable in a very particular field, but lacking the ability to innovate or communicate well.
These are the kinds of qualities that businesses are looking for, because you are not just hired to do a job, but to also generate ideas to help the company. A career-oriented major may not be the best choice in this circumstance because you lack the basic knowledge to synthesize an idea.
Take journalism, for example. Many schools have a journalism program, some of which are very highly regarded. But a program of only journalism classes leaves students lacking in knowledge about history, English, and other liberal arts topics that make reporters’ writing so rich with detail.
Being a journalism student, I have encountered the issue of not having enough liberal arts knowledge to be able to really investigate something as it connects to our past. Now if you made it that you had to combine a journalism major with a liberal arts major, such as English or history, the program would be much better and would churn out students who had a higher chance of being hired.
If you’re really passionate about a career, major in that career, but also major in a liberal art, it will make you a much more suited candidate for a job when you graduate.
You could also major in a liberal art and do internships over the summer or a semester in the field that interests you, as this would also set you apart. So choosing a career-oriented major may not be the best choice, at least without a basis in the liberal arts.